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Tampa International Airport Adds Flights, Expands

Focusing on attracting overseas flights, Tampa International Airport (TPA) will be making some upgrades to the airport's oldest operating airside.

Originally opened in 1987, Airside F will undergo a $27.6 million renovation, as proposed by TPA CEO Joe Lopano.

In an attempt to ease congestion, Airside F upgrades include the expansion of TPA's ability to handle baggage by adding two baggage claim devices and improve passenger flow through security and customs by adding two booths for passport checks; Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lanes will be added and improved, as well. This will equip the airside to handle up to three wide-body international flights simultaneously.

“These improvements will make moving through Airside F much easier for passengers,” says TPA Director of Communications Janet Zink. “We want to make sure we maintain our reputation as an airport that's easy to navigate.”

Currently, Airside F handles the majority of TPA's international flights, including the recent additions of nonstop service to London and four-times-a-week flights to Cuba. Beginning in May, TPA will launch twice weekly nonstop service to Zuirch, Switzerland and, in November, will begin having two international flights arriving within an hour of each other.

“It's essential for the economic health of the entire Tampa Bay region for TPA to be able to attract and manage more international flights,” Zink says. “The upgrades should allow us to handle projected growth for the next several years out.”

According to Zink, studies show that one daily nonstop flight to a major European city has the potential to have a $154 million economic impact on the region, creating as many as 1,200 jobs.

Recently approved by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board, the project is slated to begin design in March 2012 with completion of the entire upgrade expected by September 2013.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Janet Zink, Tampa International Airport
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